If you want to find Quinn Harris this summer when he is off work, you most likely will find him at the observation deck on the Kennewick side of the cable bridge.
And while it was only him, his girlfriend and three friends laying in the baking sun or jumping into the Columbia River to cool off Sunday, he said larger crowds aren't unheard of during the summer's hottest days.
"You can usually get like 20 to 30 people here," the 18-year-old Kennewick resident said. "Drinks, umbrellas, the whole bit."
With temperatures scorching past 100 degrees, Tri-City residents filled the area's pools and splash parks, and fled to riverfront parks or to boats on the water to beat the heat.
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Despite the high heat and threat of thunderstorms, fire officials said they had not had any calls Sunday for wildfires. Health officials said they hadn't seen many cases of heat exhaustion or heat stroke at area hospitals. However, high temperatures are expected to continue for much of this week.
"Do it all in moderation," said Karen Campbell, house supervisor for Kennewick General Hospital, of outdoor activities.
Temperatures throughout the Mid-Columbia and much of northeastern and central Oregon ranged from 97 degrees to 105 degrees Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. It was the second straight day of such temperatures for much of the region.
It was the extreme heat that led Sally Louthan of Finley to take her 5-year-old daughter Brooklyn and 13-year-old niece, Maranda Grigsby, to Two Rivers Park in Finley. They weren't the only ones with that idea, as people filled the park's shores with grills, picnic blankets and lawn chairs.
Louthan said she has come to the park a lot since she was a child, and while she had been a few times already this year, today was the first time she got into the water.
"I was sitting here (in the heat) for an hour and finally had to get in," Louthan said.
Officials at KGH and Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland said they didn't have an influx of emergency room patients seeking treatment for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Still, Campbell said people should be careful to not spend too much time out in the sun and make sure they are drinking plenty of water.
Thunderstorms formed Sunday afternoon and evening from the heat and are expected today. Weather officials issued a red flag warning until Tuesday, indicating a high likelihood of lightning strikes that could start wildfires.
But as of Sunday afternoon, fire officials with the Kennewick, Pasco and Hermiston fire departments said they hadn't had calls regarding wildfires caused by the day's heat or lightning.
And while it was really hot Sunday afternoon, with her friends walking quickly across the scalding cement and pavement at the cable bridge observation deck, Bailee Krajnik, 17, of Kennewick said she prefers this summer weather to the hot and humid weather she dealt with when she lived in Wisconsin.
"The dry heat is so much better," she said after a quick jump into the Columbia.
-- Ty Beaver: 582-1402; email@example.com